Hell to pay…

I don’t know.. Is it me? Am I getting too old? I have to admit, Jim’s last editorial sparked a little blaze inside me when I read it. Enough of a fire to get me up off my ass to add a little more fuel to the fire he started burning in last week’s drum.

There are so many things happening in this world, and we are evolving into who knows what, and what irritates me more than anything on this planet are people that can’t take responsibility for their own actions (or inactions), and have this overwhelming need to blame someone else, something else…draw the attention away from them for the moment and have the light shine on something that may be nothing more than a “colouring” for their psychoses. Like the movies.

Columbine was a perfect example of the need to blame something else just because two kids went psycho who would’ve probably gone psycho and blown away their school, whether they watched The Matrix or not. Jim tells me that John Wayne Gacy was a Disney movies fan. How weird is that? Does that mean that just because we ‘ve seen The Little Mermaid twelve times, we’re probably psycho-pedophile-killer-cannibals? And watching The Matrix doesn’t mean we’re gonna go out with automatic weapons and blow schools away — unless we’re seriously disturbed in the first place. Then we’ll do it anyway, whether we watch Disney or Linda Lovelace.

This little rant is courtesy of last night. I was driving my son and his friends home from their YMCA jaunt. There they were, three of them in the back, two 15-year olds (survivors of the Chaparral High School Pseudo Hostage Crisis) and someone’s little brother, tagging along to be with the big guns. And me, the invisible driver. Oblivious to all the happenings in the back and, apparently to them, not listening to a word they were saying. But I was… Listening very carefully. And I heard things that I never remember hearing as a child growing up with my boy cousins. I know that boys tend to be more aggressive around their peers, but I never remember hearing such intricate detailing of how they were going to kill one of their classmates in a most gruesome manner. Throwing him into a bathtub of boiling water, then tossing in 7 or 8 toasters (“so it would hurt real bad”), then, for good measure, a couple of cameras and a blow dryer just to make sure he was dead. All this said in the presence of the nine year old – I’m sure he was seriously impressed and followed by a hysterical impression of Terence and Phillip fart jokes from the South Park movie.

I was seriously considering the possibility that perhaps there was something to the ravings of the radio talk show people, screaming that kids are influenced and will act on things they’ve seen at movies. But I did something that radio talk show people don’t do. I asked the kids outright. I turned to them and asked them about the situation they were describing. I asked them, if the opportunity arose and they had the means with which to make that scenario real, would they put this boy they hate into a bathtub of boiling water with a crate of electrical appliances? Would they want to see him dead? The answer was “No way. We just like talking about it ’cause it makes us feel better.” My point exactly: harmless violence. Releasing the tension like the steam out of a pressure cooker.

And I know these boys get to see all the gory, violent, horrifying films they want. But what makes them different from the psychos who saw the same movies and kill/rape/maim/cannibalise/torture? Simple. They’re not psycho. Just lumped in with the same group because of a common interest they share.

But God help that kid at Chaparral they hate so much if they were psycho!

Chris Fata
North American Ambassador,
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